Tag Archives: kirking

John Wiley & Sons / Wiley Interscience, JL Kirk, and Courage

Afarensis, Entertaining Research, Evolution Blog, Galactic Interactions, Jim River Report, John Hawks Weblog, Rebecca Hartong, Mike the Mad Biologist, Sharp Blue, Synthesis of Thought, The Panda’s Thumb, Thought Capital, and Thoughts in a Haystack are all writing about John Wiley & Sons / Wiley Interscience attempted takedown of Retrospectacle’s critical article on their “alcohol is good for you piece. These articles, joined by A Blog Around the Clock, Abnormal Interests, Adventures in Ethics and Science, Evolving Thoughts, Kitchen Table Math, Mixing Memory, Parentalcation,
Notes from Dr. RW, Open Reading Frame, Pith and Substance, and Sandwalk, point out that Wiley Interscience / John Wiley & Sons is attempting to censor a blogger in retaliation for a critical look at data. While JL Kirk used the cover of defamation, Wiley Interscience is using copyright.

Of course, I wish the very best to Retrospectacle and her “fair use piling on,” I am skeptical on whether or not it can work. And the reason is obvious: Retrospectacle has already caved.

Retrospectacle complied with Wiley Interscience’s demands. You can view the original critique yourself, and see that this isn’t exactly a “profiles in courage” case. It’s nice and fine for Retrospectacle to curse John Wiley & Sons, after submitting to them, but it’s hard to get worked up about it. Unlike Kat Coble v. JL Kirk, unlike (modesty aside) tdaxp v. Nationmaster — unlike even King Leonides v. Persia — Retrospectacle calmly submits and then complains about the unfair treatment.

If Retrospectacle is serious about defending her rights, criticizing John Wiley & Sons / Wiley Interscience, she will restore her post to how it was before the threatening letter. Otherwise, don’t expect a kirking.

Otherwise, as Larry Moren points out, this bruhaha is just another reason to use PLoS and digital commons. Which is too bad, because John Wiley & Sons / Wiley Interscience has resorted to this thuggery before.

JL Kirk & Associates: Miscellaneous Updates

First, props to ZenPundit and Soob for adding their thoughts to the JL Kirk Discussion. ZenPundit pens a new word, autoborking, that is a synonym for kirking. And Soob ties his thoughts to the discussion on Dreaming 5GW.

Several new JL Kirk pages are now in the Google Top 30.

Neutral Misfires becomes the third blogger to come forward with a personal experience on JL Kirk.

Additionally, while no blog pages occur in the Live Top 30 for JL Kirk (my writing be reduced to slots 33 and 34), several bloggers do appear in the Microsoft search engine’s result after that. They are, among others, Bob Krumm, Growing Up, Just Another Pretty Farce, KnoxNews, and Ripples.

Ask.com’s JL Kirk results are odd, and tend heavily to scientifc/ “other” kirks. The best of these false results, returning neither the company nor critics, is to ‘Shadow of the Beast’ ANalayzed by Margaret Carter, which includes the following line: “JL: Kirk’s original humiliation at being called to protect a grain shipment, compounded by an official order to do so, is now exacerbated by his losing the fight to keep the Klingons off the station. THE PLOT THICKENS.” If only it were so!

Last: the Urban Dictionary gives a pre-scandal definition of “kirk” which fits the new one: To go crazy, to flip out, to wig out.. Indeed.

The Mainstream Media Discovers J.L. Kirk and Associates

Allen, J. 2007. Nashville woman, local headhunting firm squaring off over comments woman made on her blog; libel suit threatened. The City Paper. April 16, 2007. Available online: http://nashvillecitypaper.com/index.cfm?section=9&screen=news&news_id=55677.

The public relations nightmare that J.L. Kirk Associates created by threatening a blogger who complained about their treatment of her husband continues to snowball. Both Newscoma and This is La Vergne, TN link to an article from Nashville’s The City Paper.

Add to that the televised report about JL Kirk Associates from Nashville is Talking. One wonders how far away the Associated Press can be.

J.L. Kirk On Television

At the same time, another former customer of JL Kirk Associates steps forward to tell his story (h/t to NiT.)

Meanwhile, the kirking continues. There are now only two Kirk pages in the first 3 Google pages for J.L. Kirk. New additions include Katherine Coble’s “JL Kirk Update” post and Enclave‘s “Blogger Jujitsu: JL Kirk Lands in 10th Spot on Net Indexer’s Top Searches List After Trying to Throw Its Weight Around in Nashville.”

JL Kirk on Technorati

Lastly, Live Search remains generally immune to the blogosphere’s immunodeficience, with only one relevant non-corporate site in the top 30: you guess it, tdaxp.

Comparing Kirking on Ask, Google, and Live

Comparing Kirking on Ask, Google, and Live

Brittney over at Nashville is Talking gave a good timeline of how the JL Kirk & Associates scandal started:

1. Katherine Coble writes opinionated blog entry about her bad service at an employment agency, JL Kirk & Associates.

2. Subject of initial blog entry leaves long comment on said post defending herself and her company.

3. Coble reposts the comment as a post of its own, with a refutation responding.

4. Coble receives certified letter from King & Ballow on behalf of JL Kirk & Associates insisting that she remove any blog entries about the employment agency. She has two days to comply or they say they will sue for “tortuous interference and other damages.”

Early on, I noted how most of the first three pages of Google Results for J. L. Kirk were by bloggers critical of the company’s practice of threatening lawsuits against critics. I wanted to see how the past few days had treated JL Kirk Associates on google, and how the company is standing on Google and Ask as well. So I searched, and this is what I found:

Category / Engine Ask Google Live
JL Kirk Associates 15 3 28
Critical of Kirk 3 27 1
Other Kirks 12 0 1

The first 2 criticisms on Ask.com appeared to be from two years ago. Only was was relevant to the recent bruhaha. The last is to a TV station (WKRN 2 Nashville) report on the issue. Ask also had 12 irrelevant search results, that had nothing to do with JL Kirk and Associates.

LIve.com was even worse, with 28 of the first 30 results being for JL Kirk Associates (generally somedomain.jlkirkassociates.com). The only result critical of the company in the first three pages was this blog (www.tdaxp.com)!. (The irrelevent page was to an R.J. Roda Kirk, sculptor.)

Google’s search results were most representative of the blogosphere. Only three pages (two at www.jlkirkassociates.com, one ad www.bestofiowa.com) pushed Kirk’s message. There were no irrelevent links, and 27 negative pages. Additionally, several pages critical of J.L. Kirk are new since the last time I checked:

My conclusion? Google is most reflective of user opinions, Live.com is unable to realize that all domains with jlkirkassociates.com in them are owned by JL Kirk Associates, and Ask somehow thinks that scientific articles written years ago that just-so-happen to have “J,” “L,” and “Kirk” in them are more relevant than user reviews of the company, and almost as important as the corporation’s own webpages.

Other J.L. Kirks


The story is mythic. A wife pens a negative review of how a company treated her husband. The company sends out the lawyers. The story lands on instapundit. A new verb is born.

But while JL Kirk insane public relations strategy of suing bloggers sparks general discussion and even military theorizing, we shouldn’t forget that there are other JL Kirks who may be unfairly tarred. So the rest of this post examines perhaps three, perhaps more, JL Kirks who have gone before…

The Victorian

One J.L. Kirk seems to have been a Victorian lover of knowledge and generally good-doer.

Mrs Norah Kirk, wife of Dr J.L. Kirk (founder of the Castle Museum in York) is seen with hat and coat, sitting in the middle of a group of wounded soldiers during the First World War, at One Oak, Hallgarth.

While another unearths the past:

John L Kirk’s Roman Villa

I assume this is the same John L. Kirk, who along with Philip Corder wrote “The Roman Villa at Langton, Near Malton, E. Yorkshire” in 1932. was cited in (pdf download).

(This Victorian-in-spirit JL Kirk would, I imagine, have loved the Coming Anarchy blog.)

The Scientist(s)

Another J.L Kirk worked with E.E.D. Schmidt and K. Vedam to write “Variation of the refractive index of diamond. with hydrostatic pressure to 7 kilobars: Addendum” (pdf download). An otherwise incomprehensible Japanese article notes that the piece the Schmidt/Kirk/Vedam piece was an addendum to was originally published in “Amer. Mineral.” (presumably American Mineralogy) in in 1968.

Working again with Vedam, his fellow at the Materials Research Laboratory at Pennsylvania State University, J.L. Kirk published “Direct Optical Observation of the Semiconductor-to-Metal Transition in SmS under Pressure ” with V. Narayanamurti, A. Jayaraman, and E. Bucherof Bell Laboratories, in New Jersey.

Diesel Fuel = Toxic to Carrots

Yet could this possible be the same J.L. Kirk who, along with P. Moutoglis, J. Klironomos, H. Lee, and J.T. Trevors wrote “Toxicity of diesel fuel to germination, growth and colonization of Glomus intraradices in soil and in vitro transformed carrot root cultures” (pdf download) in 2003 for Plant and Soil? Doubtful, I would imagine, as the toxic relationship of diesel fuel was discussed by Jennifer L. Kirk of the Department of Environmental Biology of the University of Guelph in Ontario.

The Company


An entirely different JL Kirk is “JLKIRK General and Mechanical Contractor,” which specializes in “Commercial, Residential Construction, Heating and Air.”


Since I wrote my post on how two-thirds of the first three results pages for JL Kirk are now negative, the kirking has grown and grown. Since then, the following anti-JL Kirk pages have been added to those first three pages:

Hopefully, in the deluge of bad publicity which may drown JL Kirk’s own message from public discourse, the other JL Kirks aren’t lost, as well.

The Real-Time Consequences of the JL Kirk Associates kirking

The story is now famous. A blogger pens a negative review of a job placement agency (J.L. Kirk and Associates). The agency responds with a mean-spirited comment and then threatens legal action. A national media outlet picks up the story, and now “to kirk” has a new meaning. In particular, “kirking” means to damage one’s own reputation by the incompetent use of strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPS).

One way to measure this is to look at the first three pages of google results for the phrase j.l. kirk. This is the term a potential client or business partner of JL Kirk Associates would most likely use to find out information about the company. As of now, these are the first three pages worth of google results for that term:

(The hyperlinked entries go to negative reviews of the company for its attempted use of the law-courts to silence a critic.)

If the kirking becomes complete, and all but the J.L. Kirk & Associates homepage drops off the first three pages of google links, then (as things stand now) the following 9 pages must move up:

And to round out the top 11, let’s remember Jim River Report‘s first announcement, and the tdaxp SLAPP (strategic lawsuits against public participation) category, which also contain information on lawfarite thugs such as Active Holdings, Jim Abourezk, and NationMaster.

And we need one more, so why not the fark summary?